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tv   This Week in Defense  CBS  October 28, 2012 8:00am-8:30am EDT

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welcome to "this week in defense news." i'm vago muradian. for more than a dozen years u.s. army soldiers have been in combat in iraq, afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world stressing the force more severely than at any period since the vietnam war. while the army has ended operations in iraq soldiers still constitute the bulk of the international coalition doing the fighting and supporting in afghanistan and will continue to do so until the mission there ends in 2014. plus, the army is looking past the decade of war to prepare the force for future challenges including refocusing on the pacific. that will mean a change in equipment, personnel, and manpower levels as the service retools from having spent years fighting in the middle east and central asia. engineering that change in an era of tight resources is the
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army's 38th chief of staff, general ray odierno who joins us from the association of the annual conference and trade show. sir, welcome back. >> thank you. >> i wanted to start off. sequestration is the top issue in washington. you have frequently said that sequestration is the one thing that keeps you awake at night. why? what about it keeps you awake? >> i remind everyone we've already taken approximately a 10% budget cut already. we have $487 billion over the next 10 years which we have already put into our budget numbers. so worry about sequestration is another 10 to 13% on top of those numbers. but more importantly, it's how sequestration is executed. it's directed. it's very specific, especially in '13. >> on every program and activity. >> on every program it's the same so i have no say even in where we put it and what's the best way so there's concern about. that we also just finished developing a strategy, and that
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strategy was resourced based on the first 10% or 11% cut. if we have additional cuts we will probably to have relook our strategy once again because i think the ways and means will not match, and so it's -- sought would really have an impact on how we want to conduct maybe our future strategy. >> operations a concern also? because personnel will be exempt but operations might not be. >> well, right now the president has exempted personnel, and did he that because it would have been almost impossible to execute any personnel reductions within the time lines of sequestration based on a decision in january. and because of that you might get out of balance. with personnel, monetization and readiness so we have to try to maintain that right mix so when we go forward we have the right mix to be successful. >> the army is doing the bulk of the fighting in afghanistan but the nature of that conflict is changing. you are finding a lot of afghans turning their weapons on u.s. forces.
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there are still mounting attacks, some more brazen than ever. how is this conflict going to change in the next two years as u.s. forces ramp down? >> i just came back from afghanistan a few weeks ago so i had a chance to see it firsthand. i would tell you that i would argue that we're -- the way things are going in afghanistan are kind of on schedule because we're turning over more and more direct responsibility to the afghan security forces. and my experience in iraq tells me we're starting to see some of the same things now that happened in the end in afghanistan where you are finding the taliban become more desperate so they're coming up with new ctics to try to get at the strategic will of support for both nato and other countries for what's going on in afghanistan. so we are seeing more suicide bombers. we're seeing these insider threats, although the numbers are low, there's concern about the insider threats. what we can't do is allow that to derail us from what we're
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doing which is continuing to turn more responsibility over to the afghan security forces. they are doing a good job for the most part. over the next two years we will continue to turn more and more responsibility over to them. and i think we're on track to do. that we all feel comfortable with where we're headed. >> but there is a challenge because soldiers are expressing privately concern about going. they've said, well, i survived four deployments. i'm really worried that me or my buddies might not come back alive from this one. you guys set up the advisory teams. you wanted 300 ncos to participate but even these senior soldiers said i don't want to go unless i have more protection so now you're deploying 300,000 instead of 2506789. >> that's not in fact what happened. we had brigades deploying who owned ground, then on top of that we would deploy 300 ncos to conduct training. we've now combined that. we think that's the best way.
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they are organized early on, they're trained together, they have he relationships already built. that will provide better security for the advisers. so we have taken a brigade, given them the advisor mission, also the ground mission together and so it is now at 2300 or 2,000-man force going over to conduct this mission. before, we were sending 2,000 and 300 advisers over separate. so we've combined them. we think the unity of command will provide bert security and make them better prepared to deal with threats. >> what do you tell soldiers when they're worried about deploying and the accepts that their sacrifice might be for naught in a couple years because there are those who say once troops leave afghanistan it will descend into chaos. >> first of all there's lots of opinions. what i tell soldiers first off we don't get involved in opinions, we get involved in accomplishing our mission. we focus on the mission. we are going to do everything we can to make sure they have the right tools, the equipment, the training, the tactics, the
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techniques and procedures for them to go forward and be successful. we have adjusted to some of the new threats that we've seen. we have new training techniques, new learning technologies that are helping them to deal with these potential threats which i think is giving them more and more confidence. >> when you look at what -- there are anny nor mouse number of lessons that were learned in these. we're already transition away to operations other than counter insurgency operations. at the same time the national security strategy says we have to preserve some of those skills. how do you preserve these skills that are very experienced based, over the long term, so that if we find ourselves in a situation five, sir, seven, eight years from now, whether you're active guard and reserves you are going to have the skill set necessary? >> so this week we just finished publishing brand-new doctrine. we published all of the army doctrine which is the foundation of how we train and how we resource and so we've
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published -- we're redoing counter insurgency. we're looking at stability operations, which is kind of what we're talking about as we transition from counter insurgency to stability. we're incorporating the lessons learned into our dock train. we're incorporating the lessons learned into our schools. so that's why the investment now in our institutional army and our schools is so important, so we sustain these lessons that we've learned. the other thing is, it's different than any other time, we're going to have more combat proven leaders than ever. with an all-volunteer amy, they don't leave, they stay as part of the army so we're going to have this built-in period of time tees that will allow us to continue to learn and help us take the right lessons forward. >> if you were asked what are the top two lessons, what are they? >> you have to understand the operational environment you are going into which is the culture, which is the underlying framework of
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economic, social, sociallily what's going on within a country. we have to do a better job of understanding. that we've learned that lesson. we're incorporating that better. we have to be able to be adaptive and agile as we adjust the type of techniques and the capabilities we have when we get into an operation. >> more with general ray odierno, army chief of staff, in just a moment. you're watching "this week in defense news."
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we're back with army chief of staff general ray odierno. sir, one of your priority efforts is to redesign the
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brigade combat teams. why is that so necessary, and what are we going to see come out of that process? >> well what we've learned is, in terms of brigade combat team, we need it to be agile and flexible enough to operate across a broad spectrum of missions. we've done a significant amount of analysis both technical analysis, tactical analysis, to come up with a new design. so the one thing that's absolutely essential is we must have a third ma niewfer battalion -- a third maneuver battalion. we didn't have enough engineers. we have to relook how we do our intelligence collection and provide fire support. so all of those are going to be incorporated in the new brigade design when it comes out. we've just about completed. we're about ready to go forward. you should be seeing an announcement in the next several months. >> you have been working to define your long-range monetization program obviously in a more fiscally austere
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environment. if you were going to designate your top three programs what would those be? >> i'm going give you four. >> go ahead, you can give me four. >> first off, making sure that individual -- the individual soldier is equipped with the right equipment. this is very inexpensive but one of the most important ones, that they have the capability to get information down to the lowest level that they have the right protection in order to operate in a complex environment. second priority is the joint light tactical vehicle, the maneuverable vehicle to help us support logistics. it enables us to network the force. the third priority is the network itself. we have to be able to network our systems and soldiers in order to pass information. we know in the future operating environment is going to become more complex and more difficult, and the ability to pass information quickly from a very high level to a low level is becoming more and more important. so we have to make sure that's correct. finally, the ground combat vehicle. i think i've talked to you
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before about this. we were studying it. there's no doubt in my mind that i need a ground combat vehicle. what this does, it provides us the ability to move our light soldiers around. we have the strike tore move our medium. i need some heavy capability to move our heavy soldiers around. that will give us the right mobility, survivability, also allow us to network our heavy forces as well so it's essential to our way ahead. >> do you have any idea what that vehicle is going to look like? there's a program that had started. it got very heavy and a little bit out of black at the time. it's now being reconsidered what. do you think that vehicle will look like? >> we've been work it very hard. right now we have two contractors that are working, different designs, getting the milestone b. we're moving towards that now. there's some discussion whether we keep two, go to one. that still has to be decided. the important part is he we're continuing to move forward what. we're doing is we know we're building room for us in that the future as technologies improve that we will be able to lighten this on future versions, because we know that
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as materials get better, and lighter, and more protective, we'll be able to change it. so what's great about our program as we move forward, it is going to be dynamically able to be changed over time to fit our weight and other needs that we have. >> mine resistant and ambush resistant vehicle was recently celebrated for all the lives it saved. you were there at the pentagon. there's been question what sort of role this vehicle is going to have but you are deploying them to south korea now. where else are we going see these vehicles? >> let me use a round number. we have approximately 20,000 mraps today. between 8,000 and 9,000 will be put into the force. most of them for command and control, and other areas where we know we need a platform that can be networked very easily, and some other capabilities that we need. the other 10,000 will be put in storage so if we need them again we can pull them out. the other thing we're finding, many nations who actually are
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interested in these so we might decide -- we'll have to make a decision along the line, do we decide to sell some of them to other nations. >> let me talk about the requirement process. you mentioned getting the equipment to the soldier and i know that's been a priority of yoomplets there is a question about some equipment they're getting and the delays. for example, infantry men still don't have fire retardant foul weather gear. that's a concern because the current equipment they have is flammable so oftentimes they will take that off for fear of being burned. there are guys would say there's no requirement for sought that's the reason why the army has moved. that's why some people say the army requirement system is broken. you have given that a lot of thought. what kind of requirement is that? >> first, immediate requirements. they have to be dealt with in a very specific way. soldiers forward, when they have a requirement, it's value dairktsd we understand, we want to try to rapidly deploy that as fast as possible. obviously we still have some rules we have to follow to protect not only ourselves but our soldiers to make sure the
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equipment we're rapidly getting is the right equipment, can do what it says it can do. so we've kind of revamped how we do. that the other requirement, a little bit more long, but one of the things that we're doing there, we are much closer now in making sure that people who are developing the requirements are much closely anytimed together with those who understand what technologies are available. what we found in the past is requirements did not match the right technologies. so we've now brought that system together where we're looking at that in concert with each other. as we do full-cycle reviews of requirements and technologies that are available, make sure we get that right. what we want is we want to build systems that can be constantly approved and proved. so what you do is you iter rate them. so you have initial capability, and as new technology comes on you can improve that. it's toes do that on the vehicle. >> but you want to go through a more formal requirements process as opposed to having
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everybody in the field and throwing requirements over the fence. >> we have a process that sorts through that. for example, for requirements we do a weekly video teleconference forward, and they bring the requirements in so we try to get them very quickly. we bring them together. we have people look at it and say, okay, this is not quite right. is this what you really mean? is this what you mean? or here's a system that's already being developed. would this work? or we need to do something completely different or we need to bay something off the shelf. it's a rapid discussion that goes on. up next, a look at the army's future from the service's top officer. st
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we're continuing our conversation with general ray odierno, army chief of staff. sir, you have been working on a new strategy for the army, army 2020. can you give us a taste on what we're going to be seeing out of that strategy when you unveil it? >> let me give you a quick couple lines. first, we run an army that has -- can deliver at many speeds, many sizes, for many missions. that's what we're focused on. more detailed is -- >> the idea of the strategic squad, for example. >> the idea of the strategic squad, the ability of the army to provide quickly. >> and the regional brigades. >> regionally aligned forces. it's not just brigades but forces. so we are going to align torses
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so they know they're available. what that does first they understand they've got it. they will be trained in a way that can meet some of the demands culturally and understand the operational environment in the region they are going to have to operate in. and each one of the combat apartment commanders will get regional officers and we're working with each one of them now to ensure that they get what they need. and they define the requirements that they want. >> when we spoke last year you were talking about the importance of the pacific command and you guys had made anny nor mouse number of moves. you've got an australian major general who is going to be serving as deputy commander as well. how is this mission going to change what you buy, how you operate, and your resource priorities? >> well, the first thing we have to do is we have 66,000 soldiers assigned to the pacific command. we have to make sure we get them reoriented. we've been take soldiers from there, reorienting them towards iraq and afghan stwhrafnlt we're doing is as i've gone around the region the one thing that's very clear is all of the chiefs of the armies want
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multilateral exercises. they want exercises that involve three, four, five countries, in a variety of things, starting from humanitarian assistance, up to doing training on counter i.e.d. training. so we are going to really begin to do multilateral type of efforts. that's been a clear message from everyone. we are going to pre position some equipment, probably some more strikers in the area so we have a combination of strikers light and some heavy capability that we already have in korea, for example. so all of this becomes very important to us as we start to develop stronger relationships. it's not that we don't have relationships. it's about reorienting the army towards reestablishing more training type capability and building partner. >> butt also changes your investment. for example, you may need new bdu's to operate in different climates. >> we're in the process of designing one that can really be used anywhere. we've taken a look at the did
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he siefnlts we'll make a decision near in the near future on which is the best design to do that. >> two issues that are important to you, preventing suicides and preventing drug abuse, two issues that have surfaced in the last couple of years across the force. we're now responding to. that what are some things that in the future commanders have to bear in mind to do stuff to avoid beg in the situation that we're in today? >> two specific things i talk about. one is, commanders creating a climate where people are willing to come forward when they have a problem. and they don't feel that they can't that it won't be accepted, that they say they have a problem, that's one. second is we're building a ready resilient campaign which means it's really about building resilience. we have statistics that tell us when we build resiliency in young men and women suicide rates go down but we've only done it in small numbers so we're now expanding that. physical resill yen see, mental resill yen see, spiritual resiliency. we think a combination of these
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will help us keep us focused for the long term. >> we've got a minute left. i know that you are a big supporter of putting women into combat roles in the united states army. the marines obviously have started their process. unfortunately both of the women involved in that training washed out what. are the options and when? >> the first steps, we're in the process of doing a pilot in brigade combat teams to get them down to battalion level. we did in that six brigades. we're getting some good results. i'm going to expand that to the rest of the army. collect the data, then we are going to start looking at what are the standards we want to set for infantry, armor, which is mainly what we're talking about, get common standards that we can now use as we assess potentially in the future women going into these branches. there's some other issues that we have to make sure we understand. there's some integrating women into these units is what we're
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really working towards now. that's what we're doing, getting them down to battalion level. >> airborne as well? >> they're in airborne units now, so selected mos's. we have not yet opened infantry armor slots. in the future we'll take a look at. that. >> sir, thanks very much for joining us. we really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> coming
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after performing admirably
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in iraq and afghanistan over a dozen years the army has earned a break to reconstitute, rejuvenate and rethink its future. first leaders must preserve hard line combat capabilities as they shrink the army while raising education and standards which softened as the force rapidly grew at the height of fighting two wars. second, the guard and reserve developed formidable fighting skills that will be difficult to pre search. doing so is critical as is the need to integrate components. third the army must improve its specific strategy and presence. it is already building regional partnerships to improve cooperation, training and stability efforts that will be helped by having a respected australian major general, rick burr, as the pacific command. the army must welcome closer air force navy cooperation and refine its key develop rations to regional operations especially missile defense, special operations, light infantry and airborne forces, logistics as well as humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities. finally the army must ensure
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units and equipment have the broadest utility around the globe instead of being narrowly tailored. the army must emerge from the drawdown ready to face missions both similar and far different from those over the past decade against possible adversaries ready to exploit a symmetrical means. thanks for joining us for "this week in defense news." i'm vago muradian. before we go a special thanks to army headquarters and public affairs, the association of the united states army, and the walter e washington convention center for helping make
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rare childhood diseases. how families are advancing the i'm steve usdin. welcome to "biocentury this week." your trusted source for biotechnology information and analysis. "biocentury this week." few families face challenges as painful and daunting as learning that a child has been struck by a serious disease. the news can be even worse when the disease is rare. all too often there are no effective treatments. funding for research is scarce. ignorance about the underlying causes slows progress and there are few financial incentives for industry to create new drugs. but parents aren't standing still. they're taking responsibility for overcoming all of these barriers, for their own children and for future generations. nancy goodman's son jacob died in 2009 from brain cancer. she brought mothers of children with cancer to capitol hill and persuaded congress to create incentives for industry to invest in drugs for


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